Rise and rise of city colleges
One of the things that strike a visitor walking on the streets of Nairobi is the high number of institutions of higher learning.
The colleges have taken over the city, occupying most prominent buildings.
From Haile Selassie Avenue, to Moi Avenue and Koinange Street, the middle-level colleges and universities are as many as the city’s coffee shops.
The same scenario is replicated in suburbs in the capital as the institutions seek to satisfy the thirst for higher education.
One only needs to stand outside one of the colleges, be it a university or a middle-level institution, when students are coming out of their classes to understand this thirst.
“We are now about 100 people in our class,” Ann, a communication student at the University of Nairobi said on Thursday.
“It is a week since we started classes and the numbers are still soaring. We may surpass 120.”
Henry Wandera, a lecturer at a middle-level college in Nairobi, lauds the increase in colleges.
“The colleges have offered many people jobs, who would otherwise be unemployed. They have employed thousands of lecturers and workers, even if it is on part time basis,” he said.
He noted that the increase reflects the growth of the sector.
“Getting higher education is no longer a big deal. The rise in number of institutions has opened up doors for many people, including those who could not have pursued higher education due to poor grades,” he said.
In the case of universities, he noted if one misses an opportunity at one, he can get the same course at another.
“As long as you have the fees, you can access university education in any institution you like since they admit students quarterly. This is a good thing that will benefit the country immensely in terms of workforce,” he said.
Caroline Nduku, a student of French, is happy about the boom.
“If it was not for the rapid expansion of colleges, I would not be studying French currently. I started learning the language about three years ago, but I had to drop because the class schedule was too rigid,” she said.
But human resource experts note the boom is coming with a huge price as quality goes down.